Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Teaneck Rides Defense to Win

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Teaneck Rides Defense to Win

Article excerpt

PATERSON - Teaneck played the type of suffocating defense Sunday night that coach Jerome Smart knows the Highwaymen must play if they're to succeed late in this boys basketball season.

The Highwaymen overwhelmed Montclair Immaculate with their relentless pressure during the third quarter and blew open a close game on their way to a 64-46 win in the annual New Year's Jump Off showcase at Paterson Charter School for Arts & Sciences.

Teaneck took a 25-22 lead into halftime, and the press helped the Highwaymen start the third quarter with a 17-0 run.

Teaneck forced 10 turnovers overall and outscored Montclair Immaculate, 28-4, in the third. Sophomore guard Ja'Quaye James scored 10 of his team-high 25 points in the third quarter.

"I was happy with it because that's the key to our team," Smart said of Teaneck's defense. "We have eight, nine guys we play regularly. I can go a little bit deeper if need be.

"But we need to pressure because we can get out, run and get easy baskets, and [James] can get shots in transition. In the half- court, people are doubling, tripling, playing box-and-one, shading the zone. It's hard to get shots."

Junior forward Jawaun Daniels (17 points, eight rebounds, four steals) and senior forward Jahlil Kure (six points, eight rebounds, four steals) also played important roles in Teaneck's win. The Highwaymen (5-1), ranked No. 1 in The Record preseason Top 25, won their fourth straight game since suffering a 64-55 loss to Gill St. Bernard in the second game of the season Dec. 22.

"I guess overall it's been good," Smart said of his team's start. "We obviously weren't well prepared for the second game of the year. But we're getting better."

Sophomore guard Jalen Carey, a transfer from Dwight-Englewood, scored 25 points and had nine rebounds for Montclair Immaculate (2- 3).

The non-conference game also matched former Paterson Catholic coaches Smart and Jim Salmon against one another for the first time in the gym of the now-defunct school.

Smart was an assistant on Salmon's staff before Salmon, who led Paterson Catholic to the Tournament of Champions final in 1994, left to become an assistant at Villanova. Smart succeeded Salmon as the Cougars' coach. …

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